Protests erupt at IIT-Bombay against professor, guest speaker for glorifying Palestinian 'terrorist' (WATCH)
Protest at IIT Bombay demands the arrest of a professor and guest speaker for allegedly glorifying terrorism during a talk on the Palestinian freedom struggle, prompting concerns about academic integrity and safety.
On Saturday, a demonstration took place outside the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, demanding the arrest of a professor and a guest speaker accused of glorifying terrorism while discussing the Palestinian freedom struggle against Israel. Protesters allege that Professor Sharmistha Saha from the Humanities and Social Sciences department of the esteemed institution and guest speaker Sudhanva Deshpande, during a session as part of the academic course 'HS 835 Performance Theory & Praxis' on November 6, spoke favorably about "terrorists" and armed rebellion.
Protesters associated with the Vivek Vichar Manch alleged that Sudhanva Deshpande glorified Palestinian terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi during the academic talk. Zubeidi is purportedly linked to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, recognized as a terror organization by multiple countries, and Deshpande reportedly acknowledged meeting him in 2015.
The demonstrators called for an investigation into the phone calls and emails of both Professor Sharmistha Saha and Deshpande to ascertain the motives behind the November 6 discussion. They insisted on Saha's removal from IIT Bombay, contending that the talk aimed to indoctrinate students with misleading narratives.
In a letter submitted to the police on November 7, certain students alleged that Professor Sharmistha Saha had misused her position to improperly invite speakers, including Deshpande, described as a "radical Leftist," for a virtual talk.
The students expressed concern that such events could have adverse effects on the academic integrity and safety of IIT Bombay, contending that they promote ideologies associated with terrorism, as outlined in the letter submitted to the police.
The incident at IIT Bombay comes days after uproar erupted social activist and author Achin Vanaik allegedly made several antisemitic and anti-Hindu remarks during a lecture titled ‘The History and Politics of the Palestinian Present’ at Haryana's OP Jindal Global University.